[back] Danish study

(From the Schafer Autism Report)

The New England Journal of Medicine will publish this study today or tomorrow, and it will be announced today on NBC News, tomorrow on ABC. Its purpose is to prove that there is no connection between vaccines and autism. Sally Bernard of SafeMinds (an autism advocacy group based in New Jersey) received an advance copy of the full paper and has had some time to digest it. She refutes the contention that "this study provides strong evidence against the hypothesis that MMR vaccination causes autism." One problem is they got the hypothesis not exactly right.

Says Bernard, "this is basically a good study (and we’re happy that people are taking the issue seriously and studying it), but it has a number of major problems that prevent it from drawing conclusions about the relationship between MMR and regressive autism which affects 10 to 20% of autistic children. It’s important to note that Dr. Wakefield and his team have never claimed that vaccination with the MMR was a causal factor for ALL cases of autism, only those with the regressive form of the disease (children who develop normally and then experience a number of medical problems and become autistic). Perhaps the most important problem in the study is that it was unable to analyze separately the children with regressive autism from all other children with autism. As a result, the study’s conclusion that it “provides strong evidence against the hypothesis that MMR vaccination causes autism” is most certainly overstated and likely to be wrong as it pertains to children with regressive autism.